Bethea (pronounced BETH-AY) said he views the 49ers as another opportunity to get a second ring, saying he wishes he had another.
“Of course, sitting here, I wish I had two Super Bowl rings instead of one,” Bethea said in a conference call. “That’s one of the reasons I’m here in San Fran. It’s a great opportunity to try to get another ring. That’s what I’m here to do.”
Signing a four-year contract yesterday with the 49ers provides him another opportunity to win another championship. In eight seasons, Bethea has only missed the playoffs once in his career, which was in 2011 when Peyton Manning was injured.
Bethea has been the starting safety for the Colts in each of the last six years where he hasn't missed a game. He started in 29 of a possible 32 regular season games for his first two years in the NFL.
“Antoine is a durable, experienced player who has competed at a high level throughout his career in the National Football League,” 49ers general manager Trent Baalke said in a statement. “He has proven to be a man of high character and is a welcome addition to our team and the Bay Area community.”
It is expected that Bethea will replace Donte Whitner after he left for Cleveland via free agency yesterday. Both Eric Reid and Bethea did not have a penalty during the 2013 season.
Talks with the 49ers increased for Bethea during the three-day window prior to free agency starting, but he said it heated up on Monday. On Tuesday, Bethea said he had dinner with defensive coordinator Vic Fangio and he is looking forward to working with his new teammates.
With the 49ers, there is always a chance to win and the new safety hopes to take advantage of his opportunities with the team.
“First of all, it’s a winning organization,” Bethea said in a conference call. “Ffom the past couple years being on the outside looking in, [it's an] extremely good team. It looks like they have a ball on the field. Coming in, [they're] a great defense, a great front seven and great back end. I just wanted to come in and do my part.”